When it comes to working in the kitchen, it’s not the knives and hot surfaces that are scariest– it is the handling of raw meats, particularly chicken that causes the most panic for most people. Can you touch it? Do you disinfect it? Should you rinse?
Food-borne illnesses almost always come from people and the utensils they used to handle the meat. There are a number of ways to sanitize the surface of the food to combat food-borne illness.
5 Tips for Handling Raw Chicken Safely:
1. Avoid cross-contaminating other foods. Separate raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs from other foods in your grocery shopping cart, grocery bags, your kitchen and in your refrigerator.
2. Make poultry products the last items you select at the store. Once home, the products must be refrigerated or frozen promptly.
3. Thaw frozen poultry in the refrigerator. Do not thaw it on the countertop or in cold water.
4. Don’t rinse raw chicken off in the sink– pat the chicken dry with a paper towel in its original packaging to avoid contaminating the sink.
5. Bacteria in raw meat and poultry can only be killed when cooked to a safe internal temperature.
Don’t forget: clean, separate, cook and chill!
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